Most of the systems that Boyd Solar sells are custom designed for the specific application. Here we list 2 standard packages.
- There are 3 main factors that determine the size of the system. (Most packages on the market are undersized in terms of both the Solar array and the Battery bank and will require a substantial amount of generator run time to reduce the “sticker shock” of a properly designed system)
- For reference, the “average” (if there is such a thing) household power consumption in Calgary is about 21 or 22 KWH per day.
- The Solar array size is based on the KWH per day usage in the winter. The packages are sized to require a minimal amount of generator run time. The Inverter size is based on the maximum draw at any one time.
- For reference, a standard 100 amp household electrical service is rated at 24KW. This is based on 240 Volts X 100 amps = 24,000 Watts or 24 KW
- One Radian is rated 8 KW, therefore 33 amps (about 1/3 of a standard household service)
- One Magnum is rated at 4.4 KW, therefore 18.33 amps ( less than 1/5 of a standard household service)
- Inverters can be stacked to increase the capacity. For example, 3 Radians would give you a 100 amp service capacity.
- A standard household circuit has a 15 amp breaker.
- The Battery bank is based on the length of time it will supply power prior to being depleted or requiring the generator to be used. Typically, a minimum of 4 to 5 days would be recommended. The longer the “days of autonomy” the longer the batteries will last and the less you will need the generator (provided of course that the Solar array is sized appropriately). The second main factor in choosing a battery bank is the quality that you want and if you want a low upfront cost or are looking at the best overall value over the long term. The batteries in these packages are high quality industrial “Rolls” brand that are sized for the best long term value and reliability. Generally speaking, AGM (maintenance free) batteries will have the shortest lifespan and should not really be considered for a full time “Off Grid” system. Long term, they are by far the most expensive option.
These packages are for the basic material only as listed and do not include installation. Additional items will be required for the complete installation. Racking will be site and customer dependent and are therefore not included. As you can see from the charts, the batteries are by far the greatest investment and the quality and quantity are usually compromised to reduce the upfront cost. The ground mount racking system is generally the next largest factor.
Magnum 4400 Watt Package $ 20,000.00 (not including GST)
- 4400 Watt 120/240 VAC Pure Sine Wave Inverter
- 3180 Watt Solar Array
- 52.7 KWH Rolls Battery Bank
- Recommended for less than 5 KWH per day usage
Radian 8000 Watt Package $ 37,000.00 (not including GST)
- 8000 Watt 120/240 VAC Pure Sine Wave Inverter
- 6360 Watt Solar Array
- 86 KWH Rolls Battery Bank
- Recommended for less than 10 KWH per day usage
There are differing philosophies on how to size systems, and each individual will need to determine which type of system best meets their needs. While all the systems can claim to be engineered, one must really ask what the criteria were that the engineering was based on. There are 3 basic criteria to engineer or design to.
- The lowest initial cost, this is the generally the most popular and enticing, though normally does not provide the best value. These systems will rely substantially on a generator. This is what most systems in the industry are engineered or designed to.
- The best value and overall lowest maintenance type of system. These systems feature Rolls industrial series batteries for the best performance and longevity. Reliance on a fossil fuel generator is minimal with these systems.
- The purist approach for maximum independence. Sizing a system this way does not require the use of a fossil fuel generator. This is the best approach for unattended homes and situations where dependence on a generator is undesirable.
While the first type of system will normally require the generator to run several hundred hours a year, with its associated maintenance and fossil fuel handling, battery replacements and trouble, the second type of system may also have significant generator run time depending on the matching of the energy usage compared to the Solar array size and battery capacity but will perform and last much better due to the much better battery banks.
The following chart illustrates the dependence on a generator for differently configured systems.
The following chart demonstrates how different sizing strategies affect the generator run time.
The following Chart shows the approximate percentage costs of a large installed system. While this varies with each system, it does provide some insight for estimating the total cost of the system. This particular chart was done for an Outback Quad (14,400 Watts) stack with 12 KW of solar power. The total project cost was just over $ 110,000.00. (Yes, I know, it takes some serious money to do this properly, but remember, electricity is absolutely crucial to survival. My philosophy is either do it right or don’t do it at all.)
Prices are subject to change without notice. Please inquire as to the current price.
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